Though short sellers on average succeed at identifying overvalued equity, firms often signal disagreement with short sellers by repurchasing stock when short interest increases. We investigate whether this disagreement reflects a myopic defense of inflated prices, or positive private information. These repurchases appear motivated by managers' private information, not agency issues, even when managerial benefits to short-termism are enhanced or monitoring is weaker. Managers' informational advantage relates to subsequent news, earnings, and risk, but is attenuated if activists target management or insiders sell. A trading strategy based on our findings earns 7.5% annually.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics